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How to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Healthy foods in a heart cutout. Brookhaven Heart.

Photo by udra11 for Shutterstock

It is never too early to start prioritizing your heart health. Many people believe that cardiac conditions like coronary artery disease or others primarily affect older generations. That thinking would be incorrect; these days, of the 1 in 3 Americans that have heart disease, more and more are middle-aged and even younger. Plaque can start to accumulate in your arteries as young as childhood and adolescence, and with the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and genetic dispositions, heart conditions are becoming more common much earlier than previously thought. Here are ways to keep your heart healthy and strong now to try to prevent complications later.

Find Out Your Family History

Your family history will be one of the most information-packed sources on which future health challenges you may face. Because you’ll have an idea of what you may expect, you can be as proactive as possible. It is suggested that you talk to members of your immediate family, as well as your extended family, if possible. If you find that members of your family have experienced heart disease, a heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, have suffered a stroke, developed arrhythmia, or experienced other heart conditions, ask them at what age it happened. A volunteer doctor for the American Heart Association said that if you become aware of a heart concern in your family, the best route you can take to reverse it is by changing your lifestyle and eating habits; it can even impact your family’s future generations and create a healthier legacy.

Heart-Saving Dietary Changes

The worst foods for your heart enhance plaque buildup, increase your risk of diabetes, and contribute to obesity. Avoid trans fats, fried foods, vegetable oil, excessive refined sugar intake, high-sodium foods, excessive red meat, too many processed foods, and the like. These are healthy diet & nutrition lifestyle changes that your heart will thank you for later. Replace your steak with salmon and other fish, and incorporate a high amount of vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale. Fruits are important – especially those with edible peels – and high-fiber grains should be what you choose for your carbohydrate fix.

Physical Activity

You do not need to become a marathon runner if you find out that your uncle has high cholesterol. If you really want to, that is entirely up to you, but it’s recommended to simply incorporate more physical activity into your everyday life. This could include going for walks a few times a week or joining an aerobics class; regardless of what exercise plan you choose, put it to action 3-5 times a week. You also should quit smoking, if that applies to you.

At Brookhaven Heart, We Can Help

At Brookhaven Heart, you can schedule an appointment any time if you have a concern with your cardiac health moving forward. Our team of professionals can perform stress tests, angiograms, echocardiograms, and many more services to make sure that things are doing fine. We can also help you make a lifestyle plan to promote these positive changes. Book your appointment today by calling 631-654-3278. We have offices in Patchogue, New Hyde Park, and Hicksville.